The way we communicate with our customers is continually changing. It used to be that the only means of contact was calling, emailing, or submitting a contact form; however, this no longer the case. If you’re still using these methods, then maybe it’s time to look into the different options available to you. Most people are starting to use live contact chats or a chatbot to provide an online service to customers but which do you use?
Let’s have a look at some of the reasons you should consider or shouldn’t consider both and how they compare to each other:
Pros and cons of having an online chat service.
Obviously, using a chatbot or live chat service are both very similar and come under the same category; however, there is one main big difference. One you speak to an actual person the other you talk to an automated reply.
Pros of online chat service.
- It provides better customer service as they have direct contact with a customer services team member.
- It’s been proven that nearly three-quarters of consumers use live chat as their preferred method of contact with a business. This is even more than social media, which sits at around fifty percent.
- Live chat has a high customer satisfaction with people reporting that it’s as high as ninety-two percent.
- It has the highest satisfaction rate compared to other methods of communication purely because of the speed of service.
- Live chat reduces wait times, in fact, nearly eighty percent of consumers suggest that they prefer live chat services because they get an instant response.
- Using a chatbot reduces wait time to nil as they are computer-generated responses, which means they enable customers to receive answers to their questions via AI software.
- You can turn it off: When you are away from the office, you’re able to turn it off and have email or chatbot as a backup option.
- Quality checks: If you want to be able to check the quality of service being provided to your customers, this is a brilliant way of doing this as you can simply check the log files.
- Instant feedback: Chat is usually faster than phone support and most definitely email, so customers have access to immediate feedback, and so do you, you can add a chat session review survey at the end to see how your customer felt about the chat service.
- Help more people at the same time: The best chat agents are usually able to serve several customers at the same time rather than just one on the phone.
- Clearer understanding: There will be no more problems with strange accents or bad lines and people tend to type clearly what they want answering instead of jibber-jabbering on.
- Costs: There are absolutely no extra costs for the customer even when they are from another country which cannot be said for using a phone service.
Cons of online chat service.
- Not all of your customers will like it: users who aren’t computer savvy will tend to be against using live chats and will most likely take a dislike to it. It’s best to make sure you still offer at least email or phone support in addition to chat support.
- Not all customers will know how to use it: Think about your clientele, are they likely to be tech-savvy, or are they the older generation who will still appreciate a telephone conversation?
- It doesn’t work great on all mobile platforms: some people may struggle to get a response or lose connection on specific mobile devices. Remember, not all mobile devices can support a live chat.
- Pranks: This is the internet at the end of the day, you will probably get your fair share of prank chats just like you would telephone pranks. However, with email, you can put things into place to limit this happening. Try making an email a necessary piece of information for live chat to start up to limit this happening.
- Waiting times: Yes, this can sometimes not be avoided however there is always the risk that all the customer service tea are busy and a customer has to wait a long time for an answer, chatbots can help minimize this but not if they want to speak to a person.
Having a live chat system on your website has some excellent points and bad to consider. To keep in line with the modern, digital world, it is going to be something that should be implemented. The best way forward could be to introduce them on your site as a live chat service direct to someone when there is someone available and then have a chatbot available for when it’s not staffed. This way, you get the best of both options.
How you go about sourcing this will highly depend on your demographic of the customer to what is going to be best for them, for example, if your target market is mainly teens or college-age students then using a chatbot developed with Kik messenger bots would be ideal or instant for older customers.
You’re bound to have up’s and downs when implementing this service on your website, but it should be worth the perseverance. Try not to stress about it too much and learn from mistakes. Having a chatbot in place is bound to help work out the kinks with a live chat where customer can talk to a customers services rep directly, but it’s essential not to take on more than you can handle especially if you’re a start-up or small business.
Although the world is advancing with technology, there is still some resistance from people wanting to progress into this world ultimately. This means that as a business you should consider these concerns, don’t allow live chat to take over and push these customers away, make sure you still have clear and easy to use contact methods for those who prefer not to use an online service.
What are your plans? Are you considering using a chatbot or a direct live chat or maybe even both together?
Lets us know in the comments area.